Great Leaders Measure for Success

I am writing because I recently had a conversation with a prospect regarding a consulting project that I think has value for other organizational leaders.

This prospect and I agreed on the project objectives and then I asked how were we going to measure success and our progress towards those objectives. His reply left me speechless:

“I don’t know and I don’t care about a return on the investment, I just want us to be the best we can be,” he said.

I’m confused. How can you be “the best you can be” if you don’t know how to measure progress between where you are and where you are going? It’s impossible.

Great leaders determine metrics to measure performance and growth towards desired success levels.

One of “The 3 Strategies of Champion Organizations” I wrote about in my white paper earlier this year is “performance management.” This means organizations that want to be Champions must measure performance with clear standards and metrics.

This is standard in sports. Athletes are constantly measured by their statistical performance. There are box scores in the newspaper everyday, stats are lit up on a scoreboard. Fans, coaches, teammates, media and owners know how whether the athletes are performing to expectations.

And, it is well documented how if performance isn’t at or above the expected standards, changes are made.

Business and organizational leaders must take the same approach.

How can you, as a leader, be better at the following:

  • Defining specific performance standards and expectations with measurable metrics;
  • Communicating the importance of tracking these performance measures;
  • Coaching your team members to move towards achieving the performance standards
  • Be willing to make appropriate changes if the performance standards can not be met after reasonable efforts at development.

But, my main point of this post is that you really can’t be a successful leader if you are not willing to clearly identify measurable results.

What do you think?

Here’s a link for to learn how to get better at managing for high performance.